Some five thousand never-married single women became mothers in the last decade, the Central Bureau of Statistics revealed in a survey of the country's families and households, increasing the number of never-married single women raising children under 17 by themselves by 60 percent between 2000-2011. There were 8,400 never-married single mothers in 2000, and 13,500 in 2011.
Some 5,050 single Jewish women gave birth in 2011, compared to 2,600 in 2000. Thus 4.2 percent of women giving birth in 2011 were single and unmarried, as compared to 2.8 percent in 2000.
In addition, the number of single parent households increased between 2000 and 2011. A single parent household is one where one adult lives with one or more children under the age of 17, whether that adult be divorced, separated or never married. In 2011, Haifa was the city with the largest number of single-parent households, followed by Jerusalem and then Tel Aviv. Petach Tikva, which is located in the Gush Dan area, had the smallest number of single-parent households.
A single-parent household as defined by the CBS can include a divorced parent, and 60 percent of the single-parent households with a child under 17 fall into that bracket. Some 15 percent of single parents households consist of adults who remained married but live apart from their spouse. A total of 13 percent are single parents who have never been married (nearly all of whom are Jewish women), and the rest (12 percent) are widows and widowers.
Ninety-five percent of couples in Israel are married and the remaining five percent live together without being married. The number of Jewish couples living together out of wedlock went up by a factor of 2.5 percent compared to 2000. The percentage of cohabiting couples in Italy is 6 percent, in the U.S. it is 11 percent, in Holland 20 percent, in Denmark 23 percent and in Norway it is 26 percent.
The study also revealed that Israeli families with four or more children were largely concentrated in the Arab population, which had more than twice as many such families as the Jewish population. Some 16 percent of Israeli families in 2011 were raising more than four children under the age of 17, but this constituted 29.6 percent of Arab families as opposed to 13.5 percent of Jewish families.
The average Israeli household has 3.7 family members, roughly the same number as in 2000 (3.8).
Some 520,000 of Israel’s 1.8 million families (29 percent) were registered for social services in 2011, and 15 percent of those families were defined as single-parent households.
The survey also broke down food items purchased in Israeli households for households both with (one, two, three and more) children and without children. As could be expected, households raising at least one child spent considerably more money monthly on breakfast cereals, perhaps the fastest and easiest way to feed children in the morning.
Households with children also spent considerably more on junk food and snacks than households without. Interestingly, households with three or more children ate out less often, or at least spent less money on restaurant food, than families with two children or one child. Households with children also spent more money on cigarettes and tobacco products.
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